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A Comment on "Integrated English" Taught in the Faculty of Medicine
Integrated English was introduced into the English curriculum for the sophomores of Hiroshima University for the first time in 1998 after a long juditious discussions among English teaching stuff. We are not sure whether or not the introduction of "Integrated English" is a success or how it is welcomed by the students. I taught this new type of English class to the students of the Faculty of Medicine, so that I will make some comments from my experience. I used a text book, To Have and Have Not, which contains the movie script of Hemingway's novel. To make sure how much my students enjoyed "Integrated English", I asked my students to answer a questionnaire. Seeing the results of the questionnaire, we notice that my students are not satisfied with my teaching of "Integrated English" very well. This is partly because my way of teaching was not appropriate to "Integrated English" and the text was not the kind of textbook which invited students' participation.
But from my experience and the answer sheets of the questionaire, I noticed several intrinsic problems of this type of English teaching. First of all, although we agreed on the appropriate number of students in this class as about 70 to 80, most of the students answered that the appropriate number would be less than fifty. We should reduce the class size as soon as possible. Secondly, the students expect too much from "Integrated English" and this high expectation cause a low level of satisfaction with the class. They assume that they will be taught writing, speaking, listening, reading skills in "Integrated English." But, it is practically very difficult to bestow such general skills on a large, heterogeneous group that has different expectations and different levels of English. For comparison, in my "Speaking" class, the level of satisfaction with the teaching and its content is very high. This is because their expectation is similar in a "Speaking" class, and the size of the class is small. In conclusion, we should reduce the size of "Integrated English" class and arrange its classes according to students' interest.
Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
Departmental Bulletin Papers
Institute for Foreign Language Research and Education